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George Washington’s overdue library book

Overdue?

The story is whizzing around the Internet that George Washington checked out a couple of books from the New York Society Library in 1789 and failed to return them. One of them supposedly was the “Law of Nations” and the other Volume 12 of the House of Commons debates.

Fact or April Fool’s joke?

While it sounds too good to be true (from a birther perspective), it is apparently true, according to the library web site. Whether, as the email claims, George Washington was researching “natural born citizen” can only be left to speculation.

13 Responses to George Washington’s overdue library book

  1. avatar
    smrstrauss April 22, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    Since the Constitution was written in Philadelphia and two years before 1789, it does not seem likely that he would have been consulting Vattel for the Natural Born Citizen meaning. In fact, since the citizens in 1789 were under the grandfather provision, it would be irrelevant.

    The reason most people consulted Vattel at the time was because of his advice on international law.

  2. avatar
    Scott Brown April 22, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    smrstrauss – what the heck are you doing over here on this site? Aren’t you usually ‘sock puppeteering’ over on ‘birther’ sites?

    Doc – you gonna publish a long list of strauss’ AKA names too? I mean, you wouldn’t want to appear biased now would you?

    Or – as it just struck me – perhaps your Sven list was in retaliation for stauss being recently ousted on a birther site.

  3. avatar
    BatGuano April 22, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    state please.

  4. avatar
    Bob Ross April 22, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    Scott my question is, since you claim to not be a birther, what are you doing on Birther sites?

  5. avatar
    richcares April 22, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Liar, liar pants on fire!

  6. avatar
    Lupin April 22, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Hey, Pinocchio, saw off that nose!

  7. avatar
    Black Lion April 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Scott, what site was Dr. C “ousted in”? Anyone who has posted here long enough knows that Sven is a troll that likes to post useless information with no supporting proof….We actually look forward to his postings for our morning laughs…I mean would anyone other than Sven really belive that a 6 year old child would renounce their US citizenship and that the Consular official would accept it? However maybe someone that claims that they had a COLB “just like Obama’s” but could not get a passport in LA might just believe in Sven’s ridiculous theories….You never know…

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    As far as I know smrstrauss hasn’t posted here in over a year, and never that I noticed under multiple names.

  9. avatar
    Hawaiiborn April 23, 2010 at 3:42 am #

    The state you were born in?

  10. avatar
    Black Lion April 23, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Our buddy Kerchner is getting more out there with each so called post….His latest work of fiction….

    “An historical account from the times of what the newly sworn in President George Washington was doing with the legal treatise and reference book Law of Nations in New York in 1789.

    There was a news account recently that President George Washington ‘borrowed’ the legal reference book “Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law” and never returned it to the library in New York and now owes a huge past due fine on that book. This new current events story ties into the importance of that book to George Washington and the other founders. Attached is an image and an the account what the new President was doing with the book in 1789 in New York. The new President was found consulting that book by visitors to his office on his first day in office after the inauguration of him in New York in 1789″

    The Law of Nations by Vattel is a very important legal treatise and was very important to the founding of our nation. It was first published in 1758. The Law of Nations is mentioned in our Constitution in Article I, Section 8. The “Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law” which is its full name was the preeminent legal treatise of the last half of the 1700s and was depended on heavily by the Revolutionary Patriots in the founding of our nation. Benjamin Franklin cited that it was being heavily used during the Constitutional Conventions when he received three new copies of the newest circa 1775 edition from the editor Dumas in Europe. And John Jay the 1st Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court cited it often. This legal book was cited many times by the various U.S. Supreme Courts in the 1800s and much of it became the common law of our land via Supreme Court decisions citing the wisdom conveyed in this book.

    And it is this legal treatise by Vattel which defines who the “naturel” citizens are, i.e., the “natural born Citizens” of a country, i.e., a person born in the country to two citizen parents of that country. This was the law of nature and Vattel codified it in his book Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law. This book was the source of the wisdom which prompted John Jay to write to George Washington, presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787, and request that the requirement of “natural born Citizenship” be put into the new Constitution as an eligibility standard for the office of the President and commander of the military, for future holders of that office after the original generation past, to minimize any chances of foreign influences on that singular most powerful office in our new nation.

    http://puzo1.blogspot.com/

    There is so much that is wrong with his post it is humorous…But since he does not allow dissent, his followers will continue to believe what he spews is the gospel according to Mario….

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    Apuzzo: This book was the source of the wisdom which prompted John Jay to write to George Washington, presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787, and request that the requirement of “natural born Citizenship” be put into the new Constitution as an eligibility standard for the office of the President and commander of the military

    Only the copy of de Vattel available to John Jay didn’t have the phrase “natural born citizen” in it. So much for that.

  12. avatar
    PaulG April 24, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    state texas?

  13. avatar
    PaulG April 24, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    More to the point, has anybody found anything that the founding fathers did crib from Vattel and stick in the constitution? Apparently he thought only the elite should go armed, and that got shot down.